U.S. taxpayers are shouldering ever-increasing costs for the care and feeding of minors grabbed up at the border. The cost to maintain a family bed, which keeps mothers and children together in a family residential center, costs around $319 a day, according to Department of Homeland (DHS) Security budget data.
The creation of tent cities – put up to house the influx of thousands of unaccompanied minors – has raised the stakes considerably. Beds in those rudimentary facilities run a whopping $775 per person per night, a U.S. Department of Health and Human Services official told NBC News.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement estimates the average stay in detention is 44 days. Though that may be a low-ball figure, there is no doubt that the daily census is increasing as a result of stricter border enforcement by the Trump administration.
DHS projects there will be an average of 51,379 people held in immigration detention centers each day in fiscal 2018, a sizable jump from the last few years, which have hovered near the low 30,000s.
Federal grants for shelters, foster care and other child welfare services for detained unaccompanied and separated children soared from $74.5 million in 2007 to $958 million in 2017, according to a new Associated Press report.
Costs are spiking as the government is requesting bids for additional services totaling more than $500 million.
The outlays show how serious border control comes at substantial expense.
Beyond the billion-plus dollars in private contracts for temporary accommodations of young illegals come larger embedded costs of maintaining immigration-enforcement agencies throughout the country and the bureaucracies to administer them.
“Illegal immigration costs our country hundreds of billions of dollars,” President Donald Trump said recently in reference to those costs.
“Imagine if we could spend that money to help bring opportunity to our inner cities and our rural communities and our roads and our highways and our schools.”
Confronting the magnitude of this country’s immigration mess, President Trump is taking the only responsible position — increased enforcement at the border and in the nation’s interior that upholds the rule of law and deters illegal immigrants in the long run.
Immigration enthusiasts and fellow travelers on the far Left can feign fiscal concern about the costs of preventing mass illegal immigration all they want, while choosing to ignore the much larger costs of not enforcing our laws. Those costs, according a comprehensive analysis by FAIR run U.S. taxpayers more than $115 billion annually. Detention costs are pennies on those dollars.
Enforcing laws is expensive. Not enforcing laws is even more expensive and potentially dangerous.